Turkey Chili

  • Prep 5min
  • Total30min
  • Servings4

Ingredients

2

lbs of ground turkey meat

2

cans of red beans, strained

1

packet (1 oz.) Old El Paso™ chili seasoning mix

Steps

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  • 1

    Cook the ground turkey in a large pot over medium-high heat until it loses its pink color. Add the chili seasoning and 2 cups of water, let boil for 15 minutes.

  • 2

    Add the onion, the tomato and then the beans. Stir well and cook for 15-20 minutes at low heat.

  • 3

    Serve with white rice, avocado, grated cheese and chives (optional).

Expert Tips

  • You can use beef instead of turkey.
  • You can also use black beans instead of red beans.

Nutrition Information

No nutrition information available for this recipe

More About This Recipe

  • This turkey chili recipe is one of my favorites since it's so easy to prepare and is the perfect addition to your economical menu ideas. And the result is delicious! If you'd like, you can double the amount and refrigerate it. I promise it will taste even better the next day.

Easy Spicy Turkey Chili

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This quick and spicy chili made with ground turkey lies somewhere between our hearty, rib-sticking Chipotle Bean and Beef Chili and our lighter Basic Vegetarian Chili. First, sauté ground turkey with red bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Add chili powder, cayenne, ground cumin, and a bit of cinnamon to provide depth and heat, then stir in canned diced tomatoes and canned white beans and leave to simmer until the flavors mingle. In about an hour, you’ll be ready to ladle this satisfying weeknight meal into bowls and top with our crumbled Baked Tortilla Chips and a dollop of sour cream.

This dish pairs wonderfully with our basic Jalapeño Poppers. For more easy, healthy chili recipes, see our Chicken Chili recipe.

What to buy

Lodge 6-Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, $59.99 on Amazon

This Dutch oven is ideal for a wide range of uses on the stovetop and in the oven: sauté, simmer, fry, broil, braise, bake, and roast in it—and it's handsome enough to bring straight to the table too.


How to make Turkey Chili

Crockpot Turkey Chili:

  1. Cook the meat: even though this is a slow cooker recipe we want to cook the meat first in a skillet. Along with the onions to soften them. Then we can add that to the slow cooker.
  2. Add all other ingredients to the slow cooker. Then we can let this cook together for the rest of the day.

Turkey Chili on the Stovetop:

The great thing about this recipe is that it can also be made in a large pot on the stovetop. As a 30 minute, one pot meal. Meaning it’s quick, easy and less dishes.

  1. Add the meat to a large pot or dutch oven. As the turkey is cooking, add the chopped onion to cook also.
  2. Once the meat is cooked and the onion is softened, drain any excess moisture.Add the garlic and allow it to cook for an additional 30 seconds.
  3. Add all the other ingredients. Bring the chili to a simmer and allow to cook for about 10-15 minutes. Serve and top with all your favorite toppings!


126 comments on skillet turkey chili

Looks so delicious and easy!

I made the 2007 red bean chili a few weeks ago (with ground turkey and the 1/3 cup of chili powder!) and thought it was great- don’t sell yourself short! Looking forward to trying this 2020 version soon :)

Also here to stan the red bean chili. Has saved my ass many a weeknight over the course of many, many years.

Ok. Came back to say that this new recipe is very, very good. Flavorful and less dependent on added spices for that flavor. Even me accidentally chucking all of the two cups of water in at the beginning of the final simmer (these things happen when you’re cooking with a baby on your hip) couldn’t ruin it. Water reduced to a nice thickish, brothy sauce that was very welcome in the final chili.

Also a big fan of the Red Bean Chili, it’s been my recipe go-to since you posted it! (Wow I’ve been reading this site for a long time.)

Me too! I add a green pepper and some carrots to the red bean chili. So easy, and everyone always loves it!

The 2007 Red Bean Chili is a staple in my house! I didn’t think anything was wrong with it, but I look forward to trying this new version for comparison.

I’ve made it many times as well and always enjoyed it.

Me too, made the old version last night and still like it a lot!

Timing is everything. Had a pound of ground chicken that either needed to be used or frozen so I subbed for the turkey. Everything else according to the recipe. Used a deeper skillet because I HATE CLEANING MY STOVE. Fantastic and so quick. My tomatoes were fire roasted because that is what I had. I am a bit of a spicy food baby but did1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder and that was perfect for me. I also like my chili thick so did not add additional water. I’m not a huge dinner eater during the workweek, so this will be work lunches for me and hubby. And chili always better the next day. Deb comes thru again. Make this!

I’m guessing this could be perfect timing for Canadians with leftover thanksgiving turkey still sitting around? Do you think shredded turkey would work?

It tends to be British although, unfortunately, I’ve never seen free range anywhere. You could try making friends with your local butcher. My old one would mince it to order for me, so long as I gave him a little notice and ordered in bulk (nothing crazy – just a few pounds at a time to make it worth their while!)

I have made other chili recipes with leftover shredded Thanksgiving turkey recipes and they were great, so I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t work here! I like smoky flavors with turkey, so I might use a bit of chipotle purée and maybe add a touch of smoked paprika, or a half teaspoon of high-quality unsweetened cocoa powder for a bit of a mole effect.

While people are waiting for the corn bread recipe, I followed your lead and bought Chicano Eats this summer. I now have an amazing corn muffin recipe that is remarkably adaptable. Last week I tossed in frozen cherries, and my kids had breakfast for the week. Tonight, I cut way back the sugar and had corn muffins my Southern family are happily with ribs, sweet potatoes and collard greens. And since I have leftover muffins, this turkey chili may be our next rainy night food.

Ooo I did the same. I’ll try that recipe.

One day, we will be reliably be able to get turkey mince in the UK. Very occasionally I can get chicken mince online, but turkey mince is only around Christmas and only if I search hard. Such a shame because poultry mince is so much more healthy and better for the environment than red meat mince! I bet it’s easier for us to get lamb mince than for you folks though? Available here in any supermarket in varying degrees of quality…

I will be doing this or something like it with pork mince, handy in my freezer :)

I also live in the UK and can get it reliably in my local Aldi, Tesco, Asda and Morrisons! Keep looking – you almost certainly have a source near you. Good luck!

Oh really? Good to know and I’ll check it out. Do you know where it tends to come from? I suppose I’m a bit fussier than I implied and I’m looking for UK grown higher welfare, for environmental reasons :).

Hazel try Waitrose – they usually have it in and have a good track record for animal welfare / UK sourced meat.

This looks tasty and is very similar to my go-to weeknight chili, from Food Network: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/30-minute-turkey-chili-recipe-2009060. I frequently don’t have chipotle en adobo (or, realistically, am too lazy to dig it out of the freezer and chip a piece off), so increase the amount of tomato paste and add ground chipotle. Delicious topped with pickled jalapenos (https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/221961/quick-pickled-jalapeno-rings/) and plantain chips.

why are we not talking about that beautiful cornbread. Is there any magic to THAT please? Recipe? xo

I make it nearly identical. Just use stock or beer for the liquid rather than water. Yum!

Where is the skillet cornbread recipe! We need this!!

Now using beer sounds like a great idea to me!

Hi Deb! Your 2007 Red Bean chili is a staple in my house! That one uses cocoa powder, but this new version does not. Any reason why you didn’t add it here?

My tastes changed, but no reason you cannot add it if you like it here.

Recipe looks great and we LOVED ‘Money Heist’ as well! Enjoy!

Love your Instagram stories of new recipes. Makes it inviting to try a new one.
Question: is it important to hear the pan first, then add and heat the oil?
Thanks!

Yes — I try to write this into all of my recipes. This is an important technique so that things stick less. I hear from people who are switching from nonstick to metal pans that they have trouble with sticking but if you first heat the pan fully, add the oil or fat, heat that too, and then add your ingredients, you’ll find a lot less stickiness.

I made this tonight and it was easy and delicious. Even my husband, who is not a fan of turkey chili, really liked it. Now I can delete all the other mediocre turkey chili recipes. I think the lime juice does help it though. I added grated cheddar cheese, sliced fresh jalapeños, chopped up avocados, and the pickled onions on the side. I left everything else the same, except for a tablespoon of chipotle chili adobe sauce and one of the chopped peppers. And, since I have to be gluten free, I made a pan of gluten free cornbread. Now that was delicious, the best recipe gf cornbread I’ve made. If anyone wants that recipe, let me know. Thank you, Deb. This will be on the list, especially because I always have the ingredients.

Yes please for the GF cornbread recipe! I have celiac, love cornbread, and the GF recipes /mixes I’ve tried failed the family taste test.

https://chefjanetk.com/gluten-free-cornbread/ This is the link to her cornbread. She does use a combination of flours rather than a commercial blend, but I have them all. Do give it a try. You won’t be sorry.

I didn’t use the King Arthur flour but I did use her longer version she mentions, with millet flour and some other things. I adore cornbread too and I have never found a good gluten free recipe until this one. Good luck!

Oh you are evil! (in the very best way!) I LOVE that recipe but don’t dare make it unless it’s for a party or something because my husband will not eat any and I will eat it all and regret it. Now I”m reminded of it and have really good bittersweet chocolate on hand as well as perfect pears and not hope of any sort of gathering.

Just wanted to say, I’ve been reading since the early days of this site, when I was fresh out of college. I now have three little kids and am still cooking all of your recipes with great admiration. Thanks for being my constant cooking companion for more than a decade. I’m always excited for new recipes and can’t wait to cook this one.

Honey whole wheat skillet cornbread from Melissa Clark’s Cook This Now would be a great accompaniment to this dish!

Easy, fast, delicious weeknight meal. Even the picky four year old ate it. Win.

Same here! Picky 4 year old ate it too (well she asked for the “soup” part and I ladled what I could and put some turkey in it too)

I like to make turkey chili from a recipe off the WeightWatchers website. It is similar to this recipe except I add fresh or canned corn, a little Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce and some beer. I use black and pinto beans in my version. It’s that time of year to make a pot of chili.

I’d expect it to, but haven’t done it.

Nice. Chili has been on regular rotation as a fridge staple (because we run 24 hour ops around here), and I’m getting a bit bored with the house recipe. Looking forward to try this.

This looks delicious! Have you tried Cincinnati Chili? Tiny bits of meat with cinnamon, cloves, chile powder, chocolate, vinegar — so yummy and addictive.

Favorite. Make it every Halloween for my boys and call it chocolate chili! Has helped boys eat before filling up with treats!

I know the old chili recipe you’re talking about, and I’ve made it many times and loved it! My previous job had an annual Halloween party with a soup and chili potluck menu, and I brought it about four years in a row and it was a favorite as the vegetarian option. So…I look forward to trying the new recipe, but the old one definitely has a place in my heart. :)

This looks delicious but Deb would you be so kind to link to the cornbread recipe you have used! It looks like an amazing Sunday evening dinner but I cannot find it (this could well be due to my terrible search inputs….)

It’s not ready yet. :) Here’s what I said above:

I’m sorry to tease you with the inclusion of a pretty cornbread, my favorite thing to make with chili — it’s almost, but not quite ready. But I promise you’ll read about it here first when it is.

Don’t you hate it when morons don’t read what you specifically spelled out to them… sorry Deb! I was way too keen. I live in anticipation!

I’m working on new cornbread recipe myself. When the grocery shelves were bare of flours this summer, my farm stand guy sold me a very rough but freshly ground corn meal. He suggested first soaking in buttermilk or yogurt overnight so it wouldn’t be too gritty. I’ve done it once but seeing your picture reminds me I need to revisit.

I LOVE the red bean chili but also love a good turkey chili. Looking forward to trying this new one. Trader Joe’s has a great selection of ground turkey. Who knew? Thanks!

Just made this yummy soup. Just as expected delish and easy. Misread the instructions and used 2 T instead of 2 t of chile powder-didn’t matter a bit. Cleaned out the refrigerator for toppings, spooned the soup over a pile of rice and dinner is served! Looking forward to CORNBREAD recipe!
Thanks for the great dinner!

We made this tonight and it was great. Doubled everything except the turkey and added a cubed red pepper and zucchini to replace the missing pound. Served on creamy polenta. Will make again

Made this tonight. Added coriander and more chile powder. And sauteed peppers Very good. Thank you!

I hope you’re not one of those people who puts flour in your cornbread. If so, we’ll need to have a talk.

Just made this for dinner, and it was so good! My husband and I both loved it. I misread the recipe and used two cans of beans, but was glad I did. (I used one can of kidney and one can of great northern because that’s what I had, and it worked well without taking it too much in a “white chili” direction, which is not my jam.) I also added all the water (and a little extra) up front but it reduced really nicely while the chili bubbled away– this is not to offer changes to the recipe but to say that if you, like I, cook this while distracted, it is super forgiving. I hate to treat food as binary “healthy” and “not healthy”, but I’ll say that my historically favorite chili recipe is one my dad makes, but I always feel like I might die (or at least nap for a LONG time) after I eat it— it’s just so heavy. This is a really tasty option that we can make more often, and I’m so glad to have found it!

I’m looking forward to trying this chili. So nice and simple with pantry staples. For me, you must have cornbread with chili. Just need to share my most favorite cornbread recipe. It is the one in this great cookbook.
Dairy Hollow House Soup and Bread: a Country Inn Cookbook
By Crescent Dragonwagon

This is really good! I sound surprised because it is so easy, and so simple!

By the way, I didn’t look at the weight of my package of ground turkey until afterwards, but it was 1.7 lb. instead of just 1, and it was perfectly satisfactory that way as well. I used black beans, and the full amount of ground dried chile, in my case pasilla — though like Sue in the comments above, I think I misread the amount and used tablespoons instead of teaspoons!

In the photos it looks like you have both red and black beans prepped, but the recipe calls for just one can of beans. Were you doubling the recipe or were we meant to use two cans of beans?
Lookin forward to trying this recipe (and if you’re looking for more cornbread inspiration as you tweak, I love the recipe from The Animal Farm Buttermilk Cookbok by Diane St. Clair!)

Good eye. I actually didn’t read my own recipe correctly and opened two. I used half of the mixture.

I don’t understand. This recipe has turkey, tomatoes, and beans. Chili doesn’t have any of those things. Not sure how or why you call this dish chili.

I made it, just as you recommended. Added a couple random garden peppers and it was spicy and delicious!

This was so delicious, quick and easy! I did add a bit more chile powder since mine was mildly hot but robust in flavor (thanks for the tip on chili/chile), and added 1/4 cup tomato sauce instead of extra water so it would stay moist. Will definitely make this again.

Not gonna lie, Deb. I love that Red Bean Chili. I do look forward to trying this and comparing. Thanks for all the work you do to keep us well fed!

Like many of the previous comments, I too love the original red bean chili recipe (I’ve made all the chili recipes from your site over the years) and the only one that we found lacking was the three bean chili. I’m excited to make this one and compare the flavor with the original.

thanks for the suggestion to add (or sub) puree from chipotles in adobo! I ended up adding three smashed chipotles in adobo in addition to the 3 (we used 5) tsp of chile powder, though I used ancho powder so it wouldn’t be as hot as guajillo? It turned out to be a nice spice level with the turkey.

I made this Saturday while screaming at frustrating college football teams and it was easy and awesome!

I made a couple of small modifications:
– Added a good dollop of tomato paste with the garlic and spices
– When the beans were added, I also added a small can of tomato sauce and some dark Mexican lager.
– I didn’t add any water at the end because of the above additions.

Thanks for a great new addition to my chili repertoire!

Oooh, dark beer, there’s an idea for next time. I’ve the leftovers from a Corona variety pack hanging about the house, too. Thanks!

SO. GOOD. This is easily my new winter go-to recipe–I already had everything in my pantry. The only thing I did different was instead of the can of water, I sloshed in chicken broth in little doses and…added a couple tablespoons of pumpkin puree, for extra vitamins and autumn flavor.

Would cayenne work for the chile powder?

Yes, but it’s often spicier — give it a taste before adding a full teaspoon, and add more if needed.

I made this last Friday, and it was delicious. Even though I doubled everything except the turkey (two cans of beans, 28 oz jar of tomatoes), it was barely enough for my family of four, including my younger daughter who eats almost nothing. The lime juice-pickled onions were the best part – the lime juice really added a little punch to the chili. Anyway, I loved this, but will need to make it even bigger next time.

Yum! You posted this just in time, because every Halloween we have chili and corn bread and now I have a new recipe to try! Can’t wait to make this, though, I don’t have a large skillet right now because we are in the transition of moving out of state to Texas so can I use a medium sized pot instead of a skillet?

I’d make sure the pot holds 3 quarts, for best fit.

I have been having a ball going through the archives and seeing how we’ve grown and changed our eating habits and recipes over the years–that red bean chili was one of my favorites to read–but this one is the one I will save for actually making some day–thanks Deb and please don’t ever remove those archives! They also are your good humoured voice and always cheer me up.

This recipe is good….annoyingly good. For 5 years, I’ve made my mom’s basic chili recipe for my family and it seemed service-able enough. When Deb posted this new recipe, I decided to try it but with a massive dose of skeptism. Could a chili…a turkey chili….be massively better than the recipe I’d grown up with? Well, folks, this.is.so.freaking.good. I don’t know how with such a small ingredient list (!) But it is. The pickled onions are a great addition too. Anyways, you should try this even if you already have a tried and true chili recipe.
On an unrelated note, a question out of curiosity for Deb- I went the chipotles-in-adobe-route and interpreted the “paste” term to mean the saucy stuff in the can. It didn’t seem spicy enough for my husband and I so served up my toddler’s portion and then added two finely minced chipotles –which made me think. Is the “paste” term supposed to mean making a paste out of the saucy stuff and a mashed chipotle (vs what I had initially thought)? Thanks for another recipe that will become part of our family’s regular rotation!

Oops….Please substitute “puree” for all the times I said “paste”. Lolol

Hi Jane — You can also use the chiles themselves, but I find there’s usually a couple tablespoons of puree in the can. I also find that 1T usually goes a long way, but maybe it varies between brands.

I will make this! A great thing to do with leftover chili (my kids loved it growing up we call it “Hippy Pie” because I got the idea from the original Moosewood cookbook from the 70s—which I STILL use occasionally!): put your leftover chili in a baking dish, top with freshly grated sharp cheddar. Top that with cornbread batter and bake until cornbread is done and chili is bubbling hot. I usually warm up the chili first before putting it in the dish. I’m from Middle Tennessee (Nashville area), and we don’t put sugar in our cornbread, but sweet cornbread might work here if your chili is tangy enough.

Delicious and light. Thanks for another keeper. I added soy chorizo from Trader Joe’s to the mix, and significantly upped the chile powder and it was still not very spicy. Next time, I’ll likely throw in a teaspoon of chipotle in adobo. But easy weeknight meal. HAd it with cornbread and all the other regular fixings. Yum!

We tried this recipe the other night and it was delicious! Great dinner, with enough left-overs for lunch the next day for the two of us. This will definitely go on the weeknight rotation schedule.

I don’t like olive oil. Is there any alternative for this recipe?

I’m sure you could use any oil you’re comfortable cooking savory dishes with! I used some avocado blend oil that I bought by accident, and it was totally fine.

I’ll give the avocado oil a try. Thank you.

So, in case anyone is wondering whether this chili would be just as good made with ground beef instead of ground turkey — the answer is an emphatic YES. I didn’t want to go to the store and we had some extra-lean ground beef in the freezer. Even with the 8 minutes it took to defrost in the microwave, I had dinner on the table — including corn bread and salad — in under 90 minutes, start to finish. I wound up using 3 teaspoons of ancho chile powder, which is flavorful but very mild, plus a teaspoon of Penzey’s Chili 3000 blend, which has little kick, and a half teaspoon of smoked paprika just for fun. Delicious. It’s amazing to me that such a quick-cooking, simple chili has so much depth of flavor.

This is deliciously flavorful! I found the recipe forgiving in terms of quantities – I used a 28oz can of tomatoes (puréed half of it), and I didn’t end up needing to add any water as a result. I also used two x 19oz cans of beans (black and kidney) instead of one. It all came together nicely in a big soup pot. Yum. And do make the pickled red onions :)

I must have made turkey chili a little too much recently since the kiddo now says he doesn’t like it anymore. (He is also anti-soup these days.) At least once I served the chili with delicious maple cornbread from the King Arthur flour cookbook. This must mean I have a great mind.

I’m going through a Tara and Deb phase…I just want to cook every recipe here.

This was a hit! Simple, delicious, healthy weeknight meal.

I don’t know if you’ve heard Deb…. but you’re getting a lot of love over on GFY on a post about everyone’s favorite baked goods. I think a lot of common readers (like me) who are loyal followers of both websites. I did a little cheer to see so many classic smitten kitchen recipes that folks have mentioned as favorites

Aw, thank you! I am behind on my GFY but will check it out.

GFY? What am I missing? Please explain!

Thanks! You inspired a delicious quaranweeknight meal. This was delicious and perfect with what I had in the house. I found a skillet cornbread recipe that worked pretty well, but I’m looking forward to yours. Although the one I used wasn’t perfect, it used buttermilk, which I thought was a big plus in texture and moistness.

Oh wow. I have been making different chilli recipes for a good year and my family LOVES the Red Bean Chilli for the flavour. It’s a staple. I love it!

This was quick, easy, and delicious! The perfect basic chili recipe!

I made this tonight as a change of pace from my standard beef chili. I made a couple of minor changes: chili powder, not chile, because that’s what I had two cans of beans, red & black, because I feed boys and it’s better if there’s leftovers and only 1/2 tsp cumin because the spice has a bottom note of feet that really bugs me, so I tend to shy away. It’s a really good recipe. The lime brightens the turkey nicely, so to anyone thinking of skipping it, I wouldn’t. Next time I may try with white beans and a queso blanco on top (we eat cheese on eeeeverything, but our usual cheddar might be a little heavy here.) Thanks for a winner!

Deb: searching for the corn bread recipe? Turkey chili looks good but cornbread stole the show

I’m sorry. Here’s what I said about it:

I’m sorry to tease you with the inclusion of a pretty cornbread, my favorite thing to make with chili — it’s almost, but not quite ready. But I promise you’ll read about it here first when it is.

Keep reminding me if I forget! I get distracted by other recipes about 365 days a year.

Like many of your readers (and sounds like you too Deb), I make chili every halloween. It’s our tradition :). In prep for the Saturday madness, ok to make this a few days in advance and keep in fridge or will it dry out? Thank you for you beautiful recipes!

P.S. Anxiously awaiting the cornbread recipe

I recommend doubling this recipe (gonna need a bigger pot). Our only regret is that there was very little left over (and we are only 3 people!). So good, so easy!

I made the chili tonight. I ended up using 2 1/2 tsps of a combination of ancho and chipotle chili powder. When correcting the seasoning, I did add more salt and cumin.
I served with pickled onions I had in the fridge from another recipe, sour cream, cheddar cheese, and a frozen corn and jalapeño mix in my freezer. The squeeze of fresh lime was great.
Question: you don’t specify dried ground oregano or dried oregano leaves. I used ground. You?
Definitely finding a home in my recipe binders. Thank you.

I have never seen ground oregano — I use leaves and crumble them.

Here’s a link to ground oregano by McCormick.
https://www.mccormick.com/spices-and-flavors/herbs-and-spices/spices/oregano-ground
I buy mine in Canada where I live, but according to this, it’s also available in the US.
I’ll try using the dried leaves, which are also available, next time.
Many thanks.

GOING IN ROTATION – thanks Deb! (also excited for that corn bread recipe!) I only had chili powder so added some smoked paprika for depth.

I always make skillet chilis with V8. It adds a more complex flavor than plain tomatoes.

Excellent flavor. I also used fire roasted tomatoes.
Will make again

I was a fan of the old red bean chili recipe, but I like this new one much better! I misread the recipe and added two cans of beans, black and red kidney beans, but I enjoyed the extra beans. I also added

1 teaspoon of cocoa powder because I liked it so much in the older recipe. Used about half of the 15oz can of water during the simmer process. Don’t skip the pickled onions or the squeeze of lime at the end!

This is absolutely excellent!! I used chili powder as I didn’t have chile and it was wonderful and not spicy at all which suits my 3 yo. Only thing is there is definitely not enough in a single recipe. My husband and I used small bowls, gave a little bit to the 3 yo and 1 yo and there was barely a few bites leftover. Hmm. Definitely needs doubling for four adults in my opinion!

I couldn’t find ground turkey here in the Netherlands so I subbed ground beef, and used chili powder (which I believe here is just ground chiles, but I can’t confirm) but it was incredibly delicious! My chili powder was spicier than I thought so the dish ended up a bit too spicy with only 2 tsps (I’m a bit of a spice wimp though), so be careful when adding it!
Served with pickled red onions (delish!) and tortilla chips, a wonderful meal. I’m excited to eat the leftovers I froze (although there wasn’t much left!). Definitely double the recipe if you’re serving more than a few people.

Oh my gosh! I made this exactly as posted and we loved it! Enough for dinner for 2 adults and leftovers for lunch. Which is exactly what I wanted :) Don’t sleep on this one, dinner can be on the table in 45 min. So flavorful and I made boxed corn muffins on the side, which sated my desire for your recipe (for now). THANK YOU!

Thanks for another good recipe, Deb! My chili tasted a little flat so I added about 3 TBSP tomato paste. We will make this again soon!

Oh, hey! I was going to make boring turkey burgers today, but this looks so much better (and still easy–which is what I like on a busy monday). Glad I checked in. I’ll be making this today.

I made this Friday (to serve Saturday). I tripled the batch and used the higher fat content turkey per your suggestion. I did one can each of red, black and pinto beans and three cans of the Muir Glen diced tomatoes with green chiles. Very colorful, as a result!

It was so easy and DELICIOUS. Warmed over great on the stovetop in my giant Dutch oven. Served with sour cream, limes, jalapeno jack cheese…and chili cheese Fritos. It was a hit! Only two small bags to freeze.

I basically use this recipe, but add chickpeas in with the cauliflower when roasting

Simple and delicious! I added a finely diced red bell pepper with the onion and served with the corn pudding. Perfect cold-weather weeknight meal!

You will be sad if you don’t make more of the onions, half a small is not nearly enough. They are yummy and I’m already thinking of more excuses to make them. That being said, this version of chili was not my favorite. I’ve made the one this was based off of from SK and prefer that. I can’t figure out why. I tried a different brand of tomatoes this time and maybe it’s them that I have an issue with. Maybe the addition of broth in the first makes it less tomatoey and I like that flavor better? And please know I say this as a HUGE SK and Deb fan ( and tomatoes too.) But I will be going back to the first one for my chili fix.
ps

Thank you for making the same dishes over and over so we don’t have to.

I made this with two dried ghost peppers (ground with mortar & pestle). It’s very spicy and still good!

I *just* made this! It was so simple and easy I could have cried. I’ve never made chili before so I’m really excited that everything turned out well. The only alterations I made was adding cloves, some pumpkin I was trying to work my way through, and two chipotle peppers from a can of adobo sauce. Everything came together for a smoky finish that wasn’t too spicy for friends with more sensitive palates. It was late so I threw some Jiffy mix together and popped it in the oven. I’m so excited for lunch tomorrow! I don’t think it’s going to last more than a day.

Does the recipe work if you double the beans? If I did double the beans, do you think I should double the tomatoes?

You can double the tomatoes too.

I’be made this a few times and we love it! (My girls, 4 and 1, love chili!). I’ve used chili powder which I always have, is this an example of a chile powder in the actual recipe? https://www.penzeys.com/online-catalog/ancho-chili-pepper-ground/c-24/p-896/pd-s

Made this yesterday in preparation for the snowy week. Used the 1 tablespoon chipotle en abode sauce instead of the chile powder. Turned out great, delicious, and easy recipe.

I made this last night with ground chicken. I used one large red onion, about 1/3 for the pickled onions and the rest in the dish. I used some celery and carrots that were on their last gasp, and based on other suggestions, I added a squirt of tomato paste to the veg mix. I used two cans of beans – one pinto, and one “bean trio” made up of black, kidney, and pinto beans. I ended up adding about 1 1/2 cans of water total. For spices, I used the cumin and oregano I only had chili – not chile – powder, and wasn’t sure how much to use as I don’t see the Deb gave alt instructions re how much to use if you don’t have chile powder, so I used 1/2t and an additional sprinkle of that, plus about 1 1/2 teaspoons of Penzey’s Adobo seasoning mix. I had crushed, not diced tomatoes, which worked but as I tasted, it was quite tomato-y (maybe the paste, maybe the crushed tomatoes) so I added a couple splashes of Worcestershire which seemed to balance it out nicely. I served the chili with the pickled onions, a squeeze of lime, a dash of mild harissa, and a sprinkle of shredded cheddar on top. This was relatively easy to put together, and though I was afraid of adding too much spice (having in the past made too-spicy chili that I couldn’t recover) I found that tasting as I seasoned helped achieve the desired balance. I also used my Le Cruset braising pan rather than a skillet, as my largest skillet would not have held this volume (I doubled the beans and supplemented the veg based on comments the recipe as written didn’t produce 4 true servings, and if I’m cooking there had better be leftovers for another meal later in the week :)!). We were very pleased with the results and are looking forward to the leftovers!

Wow! This recipe is awesome. So easy and so flavorful! Finished with a cup of elbow macaroni (per my bf’s request), a squeeze of lime, sour cream, pickled jalapeños and shredded cheese. This will be a staple in our home. Can’t wait to make it again.


Recipe Summary

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno chile (ribs and seeds removed for less heat, if desired), minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/4 pound ground turkey (7 percent fat)
  • 1 can cannellini beans (15.5 ounces), drained and rinsed
  • Garnishes, such as lime wedges, cilantro, sour cream, and grated cheese

In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, jalapeno, garlic, oregano, and cumin season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add turkey and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until no longer pink, 2 to 3 minutes. Add beans and 3/4 cup water. Bring to a boil, while mashing some of the beans against side of pan to release starch. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until thickened, 5 to 10 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper garnish as desired.


The Best Turkey Chili Ever!

This is seriously the best turkey chili recipe you will ever make! Hearty but lean, a bowl of this chili will warm you up without piling on the calories. Make a big batch and freeze some so you can have chili whenever you need a soul-soothing meal!

Are you a chili lover? Make sure to also check out my Double Chocolate Chili, my Pumpkin Chili and my Sweet Potato Chili.


How to make Turkey Chili

Crockpot Turkey Chili:

  1. Cook the meat: even though this is a slow cooker recipe we want to cook the meat first in a skillet. Along with the onions to soften them. Then we can add that to the slow cooker.
  2. Add all other ingredients to the slow cooker. Then we can let this cook together for the rest of the day.

Turkey Chili on the Stovetop:

The great thing about this recipe is that it can also be made in a large pot on the stovetop. As a 30 minute, one pot meal. Meaning it’s quick, easy and less dishes.

  1. Add the meat to a large pot or dutch oven. As the turkey is cooking, add the chopped onion to cook also.
  2. Once the meat is cooked and the onion is softened, drain any excess moisture.Add the garlic and allow it to cook for an additional 30 seconds.
  3. Add all the other ingredients. Bring the chili to a simmer and allow to cook for about 10-15 minutes. Serve and top with all your favorite toppings!


Easy Spicy Turkey Chili

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This quick and spicy chili made with ground turkey lies somewhere between our hearty, rib-sticking Chipotle Bean and Beef Chili and our lighter Basic Vegetarian Chili. First, sauté ground turkey with red bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Add chili powder, cayenne, ground cumin, and a bit of cinnamon to provide depth and heat, then stir in canned diced tomatoes and canned white beans and leave to simmer until the flavors mingle. In about an hour, you’ll be ready to ladle this satisfying weeknight meal into bowls and top with our crumbled Baked Tortilla Chips and a dollop of sour cream.

This dish pairs wonderfully with our basic Jalapeño Poppers. For more easy, healthy chili recipes, see our Chicken Chili recipe.

What to buy

Lodge 6-Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, $59.99 on Amazon

This Dutch oven is ideal for a wide range of uses on the stovetop and in the oven: sauté, simmer, fry, broil, braise, bake, and roast in it—and it's handsome enough to bring straight to the table too.


Preheat Dutch oven on medium heat on stove top. If don't have a Dutch oven, any heavy large pot will do. I really love to use my Dutch oven and wouldn't want to be without it. It heats so evenly and is wonderful to cook with!

Once your pot is nice and hot (about 5 minutes should do), you will then add your oil of choice (I typically use olive or coconut oil, but the oil you use is up to you).

Note: If using ground beef in place of the turkey, you will not need oil in the pan.

Next, you will add the ground turkey (or ground beef), onion, and jalapeno and cook 15 minutes, chopping and stirring often.

You will be cooking until the meat is browned and the veggies are softened and a bit translucent. If using ground beef, the time to remove any excess fat in the pan is now before adding the rest of the ingredients.

Once the meat is browned and the veggies softened, you will add the drained beans, frozen shelled edamame (no need to thaw), corn, carrot, beef broth, tomato paste oregano, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, cumin, black pepper, and salt.

Note: If you don't have fresh or frozen corn, you can use drained canned corn.

Bring the mixture to a boil on medium-high heat, all the while mashing and stirring in the paste to break it up.

Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook 45 minutes. Check periodically to stir and make sure it's not boiling too hard. You want a strong simmer not a rolling boil that might bubble over.

Stir and taste. Add more salt if needed. Serve hot with biscuits, corn bread, or other bread of choice and side salad.


Turkey Chili

  • red-meat-free
  • tree-nut-free
  • fish-free
  • peanut-free
  • soy-free
  • shellfish-free
  • pork-free
  • Calories 293
  • Fat 9.7 g (15.0%)
  • Saturated 2.3 g (11.5%)
  • Carbs 26.3 g (8.8%)
  • Fiber 6.9 g (27.5%)
  • Sugars 7.8 g
  • Protein 27.0 g (53.9%)
  • Sodium 600.4 mg (25.0%)

Ingredients

large red bell pepper, diced

low-sodium chicken broth, beer, or water

Topping options:

Sour cream or Greek yogurt

Equipment

Chef's knife and cutting board

Instructions

Brown the ground turkey. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the turkey and use a spatula to break it up into large pieces. Season with the salt and cook undisturbed until browned on the bottom, 4 to 5 minutes. Break the meat up into smaller pieces with the spatula and continue to cook until the beef is evenly browned with no visible pink, 2 to 3 minutes more.

Add the vegetables and aromatics. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic and cook until the onions have softened and are starting to become translucent, 7 to 8 minutes.

Add the cooking liquid and spices and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the drained beans, tomatoes and their juices, tomato paste, chili seasoning, oregano, cumin, and 1 1/2 cups of the broth or cooking liquid and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the tomatoes and beans are tender and the chili is thickened, about 30 minutes.

Taste and adjust the liquid and seasoning as needed. After simmering, the turkey may have absorbed most of the cooking liquid. If needed, add up to 1/2 cup more broth or beer until chili reaches desired consistency. Taste and add more chili seasoning or salt if desired.

Serve with toppings. Serve bowls of chili with desired toppings. For kids, cheese crackers are the perfect crunchy, cheesy topping that they love.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

Meghan is the Food Editor for Kitchn's Skills content. She's a master of everyday baking, family cooking, and harnessing good light. Meghan approaches food with an eye towards budgeting — both time and money — and having fun. Meghan has a baking and pastry degree, and spent the first 10 years of her career as part of Alton Brown's culinary team. She co-hosts a weekly podcast about food and family called Didn't I Just Feed You.


Recipe Summary

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo, minced, plus 2 tsp. sauce
  • 1 pound dark ground turkey meat
  • 1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 avocado, peeled and sliced
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar (1.5 oz.)
  • Fresh cilantro sprigs

Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Saute onion and bell pepper until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add chipotle and adobo sauce and cook for 1 minute. Add turkey, breaking it up with the back of a spoon, and cook until no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes with juices and beans.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 30 minutes (add water to adjust consistency). Season with salt and serve alongside garnish.